Mayan-inspired time capsule buried in Guatemala

April 10, 2014

GUATEMALA CITY – A time capsule inspired by the ancient Mayans has been installed by cultural officials in Guatemala City to show the country’s future generations what life was like in the Central American nation in 2013.

Messages, cards, articles from the present day and predictions for tomorrow were deposited by members of society into the container, which will be opened in 2065. The idea was organized by Guatemala’s Sports and Culture Ministry as part of the 13 Baktun celebrations that took place across the country last year to mark the end of the Mayans’ Long Count calendar.

“The opening of the capsule will coincide with the start of a new phase in the Mayan calendar, Chol Ab’ and Chol Q’ij, and the start of the phase of the natural wisdom of the Mayan man,” said Everardo Chuc, director of cultural development in Guatemala.

“What we are doing now [with the time capsule] is the same thing that our ancestors used to do to ensure that future generations would know about their country and the people who lived in it,” Chuc said.

The Mayan civilization thrived for more than 3,000 years in what are now southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras and El Salvador.

The documents, including letters from Guatemalan President Otto Pérez Molina and the country’s first Olympic medalist, Erick Barrondo, were placed in a hand-decorated cedar box and wrapped in a huipíl before being deposited in a green marble statue.

Many of the children who witnessed the capsule being installed will be invited back to watch it being opened by the relevant authorities in 52 years.

Officials hope the capsule will give those living half a century from now an idea of what Guatemala’s economic, social and political situation was like in 2013.

The capsule was placed in a passageway in the north wing of the Palace of Culture in Guatemala City and will remain accessible to both foreigners and Guatemalans until it is opened in 2065.

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